10. What does the Church teach about decisions of conscience and military service?
Both decisions to serve in the military and to refrain from such service ought to be guided by a well-formed conscience. As the bishops reiterated in 2002: "We support those who risk their lives in the service of our nation. We also support those who seek to exercise their right to conscientious objection and selective conscientious objection...."
11. How does the Bishops' Conference view the concept of "preventive war?"
In light of the moral criteria of the just war tradition, the Bishops' Conference and the Holy See remain highly skeptical of the concept of "preventive war." As the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church clearly states: "[E]ngaging in a preventive war without clear proof that an attack is imminent cannot fail to raise serious moral and juridical questions." (# 501)
12. Has the Bishops' Conference spoken out on other conflicts in the volatile region of the Middle East ?
Yes, the Conference has said that Iraq's future stability is related to the stability of the region. For this reason, U.S. leadership is essential to advance a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians. The achievement of a fair and just Israeli-Palestinian agreement would help the region and deprive extremists of a cause they exploit to promote hate and violence. Our Conference has also expressed deep concern regarding the difficult situation involving our nation, the international community and Iran , and has urged caution, determination, and restraint in the use of force. In addition, volatile situations in Lebanon , Pakistan and Afghanistan raise significant moral questions and require attention if regional stability is to be enhanced.
13. Where can I find more information on the position of USCCB on the Iraq war?
For more information, visit: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/.
SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops